Game in a sentence
Alfred Finnbogason and Heerenveen stun Twente at Abe Lenstra Stadion, all but ensuring another pink slip for Steve McClaren.
- Normally I don’t condone willful ignorance, but with a dearth of games on this afternoon –no more Barcelona for a while, can’t do it– I watched Heerenveen host Twente in some hot Eredivise action. This was the first Dutch game I watched this year that didn’t involve Ajax or PSV, thus the ignorance part. Broadening your horizons is sage advice.
- Twente manager and former England punching bag Steve McClaren has worn out his welcome in Twente. The team hasn’t won a league game since December 21, falling six points behind table leaders PSV. The team bus was the target of angry supporters after a draw with PEC Zwolle on February 10th. Today’s result won’t help the cause.
- Rajiv Van La Parra opened the scoring in the 15th minute, taking advantage of a horrific back pass by Leroy Fer. La Parra made it look easy, beating Nikolay Mihaylov and sending McClaren into dry heaves in the process. It got worse.
- Twente responded well to the early setback, controlling play and generating chances for a ten minute stretch. Keeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt easily handled a Fer header in the 26th minute.
- Ten minutes. That was it. Heerenveen, namely La Parra, went back to carving the Twente defense on the wings. Edson Braafheid made a great play to prevent La Parra’s cross from finding the foot of an unnamed Heerenveen.
- I say unnamed because the stream I was watching this game on was incredibly bad. The announcers, however, were pretty great.
- McClaren made two changes at half, inserting German youngster Tim Hölscher and Dmitry Bulykin into the lineup. It was a master stroke. Bulykin connected on an excellent cross from Felipe Gutierrez, heading the ball past Nordfeldt for the equalizer.
- Twente went on to dominate the second half, but failed to capitalize on a series of chances that were left wanting. Dusan Tadic, their leading goal scorer with 11 goals in 14 games, was terrific. Fer sent a header just wide in the 72nd minute. A Hölscher chance, made possible by a great pass from Tadic, went just over the bar minutes later. A goal was coming.
- Just not for them. Alfred Finnbogason– also known as the Icelandic Messi– scored his 17th goal of the season and sent manager Marco Van Basten into hysterics on the touchline. Finnbogason’s go ahead marker was made by possible by yet another excellent cross from La Parra.
- To add insult to injury, Braafheid acted like a child after being sent off late. The 29-year-old defender refused to leave the pitch and got into a verbal battle with his teammate before making an excruciatingly slow walk to the tunnel. His team was down by a goal with three minutes left in the game. Bush league.
- McClaren’s men go six games without a victory and are all but eliminated from title contention. I hope Steve was renting.
- This was fun. I’ll make an effort to give the Eredivisie more coverage on the weekends going forward. To the four of you still reading, thank you. You make it all worth it.
1. Rajiv Van La Parra
2. Alfred Finnbogason
3. Dusan Tadic